Tag Archives: orzo

Ending the Summer with Orzo with Roasted Vegetables!

It’s hard to believe that the summer is drawing to a close, although I have to say, the cool weather is a welcome change. I keep seeing leaves falling from our many trees, and it’s getting me excited for fall. However, I know, there still are a few weeks left. As your squeezing in those final summer get togethers and Labor Day picnics, take a look at this recipe! Orzo with roasted vegetables is a delicious alternative to potato salad or cole slaw, or whatever you normal take. It’s pretty easy, travels great, and is absolutely delicious.

Peel and chop 1 small eggplant into 1 inch pieces. Chop 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 1 red onion into 1 inch pieces as well. Throw them all on a sheet pan. Add 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat all of the vegetables in the oil, then spread out on the pan. Cook at 425 for 40 minutes until browned. Turn them once with a spatula about half way through so they don’t stick and get evenly browned.Ready for RoastingGetting ThereDone!

Meanwhile, cook ½ lb. orzo according to the package directions. If you’re not familiar with orzo, it’s a pasta, similar in shape to rice. You can find it in your pasta aisle. Once it’s cooked, drain and add it to a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables when they are done, and any delicious liquid that may have accumulated in the pan. Make the dressing by combining 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons), 1/3 cup olive oil, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Whisk to combine, then add to the other hot ingredients. Stir, and let them all combine while they cool to room temperature.OrzoRoasted VeggiesJuicing LemonsLemon JuiceOlive OilPepperAlmost Ready

If you’re going to use the salad in a day or so, you can cover and store this salad in the refrigerator before adding the rest. The day you’re going to serve, take the salad out of the refrigerator several hours early to allow to come to room temperature. Add 4 minced scallions (both white and green parts), ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, ¾ lbs. crumbled feta, and 15 basil leaves, thinly sliced.ScallionsBasilPine NutsFetaCombined

Toss everything to combine, and there you go. The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, and really is a delicious one. Give it a try at your next get together. I guarantee you’ll get rave reviews, and lots of requests for the recipe!

A Delicious Summer Dinner…Shrimp and Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes

TomatoesI’m always playing with recipes, trying new things in the kitchen, and looking for different things to make for dinner.  I especially like to try seasonal things, tying the food to the weather.  When spring and summer hit, I start to think about some of my favorite foods, like seafood, especially shrimp.  Recently, I had played around with some ingredients and came up with a delicious dinner, shrimp and orzo with spinach and tomatoes.

Shallots and GarlicFor this recipe, cook 1 1/2 cups orzo according to the package directions.  While it is cooking, you can prepare the rest.  Saute 1 large shallot, minced, in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  You want the shallots to be soft and have a bit of color.  It only takes a few minutes.  Add to the shallots 4 garlic cloves, chopped.  Cook those for a few minutes to get a little bit of color, but make sure they don’t get too dark.  Add 1/2 cup white wine, and deglaze the pan (scrape up any cooked bits from the pan).

Shrimp Tomato SpinachTo the saute pan, add 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp.  Cook the shrimp until they start to turn pink.  They only take maybe 2 minutes on each side.  Add 8 oz spinach to the pan.  Stir carefully…I always seem to toss the spinach everywhere.  But it will start to wilt and become part of the dish.  Add 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes that have been cut in half.  You just want the tomatoes to heat through, so it will only take a minute or two.  They don’t need to cook.  Add 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, then stir everything with the cooked orzo.

Leave everything for about 15 minutes while the flavors come together and the orzo absorbs some of the sauce.  Grate 4 oz Asiago cheese into the dish and serve.

OrzoThis makes a great, light dinner, especially on a warm night.  I like it almost at room temperature, but if you prefer it hot, you can just dig in sooner.